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Glasgow has experienced a cycle of growth defined by diversification of its jobs base while halving the unemployment rate, and honing strengths in high productivity sectors.

The Glasgow City Region is the powerhouse of the Scottish economy. As Scotland’s largest – and only – metropolitan region it generated £42.9 billion GVA in 2018.

Glasgow is actively attracting the right mix of business, productivity, innovation and investment to the city. Supported by initiatives such as the Glasgow City Region City Deal, the city is building on its excellent infrastructure and its growing population to be one of the most diverse and forward-thinking cities in Europe.

Glasgow has identified 8 key growth sectors which are not only crucial to its economic growth but also support globally competitive industries and innovation:

  • Digital Technology
  • Finance and Business Services
  • Creative Economy
  • Low Carbon
  • Life Sciences
  • Engineering Design & Advanced Manufacturing
  • Tourism and Events
  • Higher and Further Education

As set-out by the Glasgow Economic Strategy, the city is building on this success with the ambition to make Glasgow the most productive major city economy in the UK by 2023. Alongside this, the strategy has set an ambitious new jobs target of 50,000 by 2023.

Business base

Glasgow’s modern, diverse economy has strengths in a variety of sectors and sub-sectors. More than 48,000 businesses (28% of Scottish companies) make their home in the Glasgow city region, supporting 856,000 jobs (34% of Scottish total).

Glasgow is an established destination for corporate and real estate investment. The city’s maturing status as a preferred location for FTSE 100 and AIM (Alternative Investment Market) listed companies endorses Glasgow as a world-class business destination:

  • nearly 40% of FTSE 100 companies have a presence in Glasgow
  • home to nearly half of Scotland’s AIM listed companies
  • an insurance hub: home to the UK’s joint largest concentration of insurance firms (outside of London)
  • the 2nd best city small city in Europe (<2m) for stating an SME
  • £16 billion in capital invest since 2011
  • £1.1 billion of capital expenditure through FDI since June 2012

Glasgow is a leading location for a wide range of globally recongnisable companies:

  • large banks and insurance firms such as Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, Scottish Friendly, NFU Mutual and Barclays
  • energy firms such as ScottishPower, Aggreko and the Weir Group
  • broadcasting institutions like BBC Scotland, STV and Channel 4
  • technology centres for JP Morgan Chase and Morgan Stanley


The Glasgow City Prospectus contains more information on the city economy and the benefits of locating in Glasgow. Browse | Download (PDF 3.73MB)

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